Ministry for National Security
Türkmenistanyň Milli howpsuzlyk ministrilgi

Cadets of the MNB Institute
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 20, 1991
Preceding agency
JurisdictionPresident of Turkmenistan
Government of Turkmenistan
Headquarters2033 Magtymguly Street, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Annual budgetclassified
Minister responsible
  • Nazar Atagaraev
Parent departmentCommittee for National Security

The Ministry for National Security or MNS (Turkmen: Türkmenistanyň Milli howpsuzlyk ministrilgi) is the secret police agency for the government of Turkmenistan. It is composed largely of the remnants of KGB organs left over after the collapse of the Soviet Union; its functions remain largely the same as well. The MNB and the national police force are under the direction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.[1] Until 2002, it was known as the KNB (Committee for National Security).


The ministry was established by President Saparmurat Niyazov in September 1991 as the National Security Committee. It succeeded the Committee for State Security, or the KGB of the Turkmen SSR, which was the republican affiliate of the uniformed security agency of the USSR. Some units of the KNB were also former on the basis of a special purpose police unit of the Public Order Protection Directorate of the Interior Ministry of the Turkmen SSR. In June 2000, President Saparmurat Niyazov proposed the creation of a council that would include the KNB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and control the movement of foreigners temporarily residing in Turkmenistan. In the fall of 2001, the staff of the KNB was increased by 1,000 people and brought up to 2,500.[2] The MNB Institute was established in August 2012 to provide higher level training to its personnel.[3] The Counter Terrorism Training Center of the MNB was also opened in the capital in October 2005 as a training institution.[4][5]

List of ministers of national security


The State Border Service of Turkmenistan falls under the MNB.


Drug trafficking


After the events of 11 September and the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, President Niyazov began to remove witnesses to the drug trade, with a "purge" being carried out in the KNB that saw dozens of officers involved in drug trafficking on behalf of Niyazov receiving many years of prison sentences. Among them was former border troops commander Akmurad Kabulov, who aided in drug couriers crossing of the Turkmen border.[7]

Execution of Vitaly Usachev

In 1996, Major Vitaly Usachev from the State Border Service, who served as head of the border post at Ashgabat International Airport, opened containers from Afghanistan that were typically the responsibility of the KNB, finding several hundredweight of heroin. This resulted in the KNB accusing Usachev of possessing heroin, after which he was taken into custody. On the eve of the trial, the chief of the border troops, General Kabulov, came to the major's cell and reassured him that everything would be fine. Despite this, the court convicted him as being guilty, after which he was given a death-sentence that was carried out immediately.[8][9][10]

Death of Gavrilov

In November 2006, Nikolai Gavrilov, the former head of the operational department for combating drug trafficking in the MNB, was killed with his wife in their apartment in Ashgabat. While working in the ministry, Gavrilov was reportedly aware of the connection of some of the country's top leaders with drug smuggling. In particular, Gavrilov participated in the exposure of the country's Prosecutor General in 2003. Prior to his death, it was revealed that he was planning to move to Russia, which caused the authorities to prevent Gavrilov's departure, fearing that the MNB's sponsorship of state drug trafficking would become known.[11][12]

Raid of the Uzbek embassy

In November 2002, President Niyazov, who at the time had just survived an assassination attempt, accused Uzbekistan and its ambassador in Ashgabat Abdurashid Kadyrov, of assisting the alleged coup leader, former Foreign minister Boris Şyhmyradow.[13] A month later, the special forces of the KNB raided the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ashgabat on 16 December to look for Şyhmyradow.[14] The raid violated the Vienna Convention on the Immunity of Diplomatic Missions and Diplomats. The KNB authorities justified their actions by saying that they were trying to “search for terrorists hiding in the embassy”.[15] As a result, Uzbek President Islam Karimov on principle refused to personally participate in the funeral of Niyazov several years later due to the KNB's raid.[16][17]

Human rights concerns

Amnesty International has claimed that the MNB has persecuted Turkmens for their religious beliefs, and that only members of the Russian Orthodox Church and Sunni Muslims are tolerated.[18] Human Rights Watch has asserted that the KNB has repeatedly imprisoned and harassed political opponents. Both organizations cite the use of torture by KNB agents.[19]

Firing of Minister Bayramow

On 13 July 2018, Minister of National Security Dowrangeldi Baýramow was abruptly fired and demoted from colonel to major for "serious shortcomings" in his work. No further explanation was provided by official media.[20][21] However, opposition media reported that the chief of the 4th Directorate of the Ministry of National Security and certain subordinates had been arrested and charged with trading dollars on the black market. This presumably was the cause of Baýramow's downfall.[21]

See also


  1. ^ Curtis, Glen (1996-03-01). "Library of Congress Country Study: Turkmenistan". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  2. ^ "CA&CC; Press AB". Archived from the original on 2019-05-28. Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  3. ^ turkmenportal. "Институт комитета национальной безопасности Туркменистана | ВУЗЫ". Туркменистан, интернет портал о культурной, деловой и развлекательной жизни в Туркменистане (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  4. ^ "Спецподразделения Туркменистана". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  5. ^ "Политическая роль военных/силовых структур / Туркмения / Политический Атлас Современности". Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  6. ^ turkmenportal. "Центральный госпиталь пограничных войск и МНБ | Hospitals". Turkmenistan, an Internet portal on cultural, business and entertainment life in Turkmenistan. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  7. ^ ""Хан может миловать, а может казнить┘" / Дипкурьер / Независимая газета". Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  8. ^ "Туркменский транзит // Руководство и спецслужбы Туркмении причастны к торговле наркотиками - Компромат.Ру / Compromat.Ru". Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  9. ^ "НАРКОТИКИ.РУ | Туркменский транзит". Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  10. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Туркменский наркотранзит | DW | 21.03.2002". DW.COM (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  11. ^ редакция, Любимая. "Бывший сотрудник туркменских спецслужб не успел вывезти компромат на чиновников". Томский Обзор (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  12. ^ "В Туркмении убит бывший руководитель оперативного отдела по борьбе с наркотрафиком Николай Гаврилов". Эхо Москвы (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  13. ^ "Turkmenistan: In Sign Of Rising Tension, Ashgabat Expels Uzbek Ambassador". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  14. ^ "Turkmenistan: Uzbekistan Protests Raid On Its Embassy". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  15. ^ "Туркмения вторглась на территорию Узбекистана". Коммерсантъ. «Коммерсантъ». 18 December 2002. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  16. ^ "Кто едет на похороны Ниязова". «Газета.Ru». Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  17. ^ "В Туркменистане прошли похороны президента Сапармурата Ниязова". Первый канал. Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  18. ^ "Fear for safety; torture/ill-treatment" (PDF). Open letter to gov't officials in Turkmenistan (Press release). Amnesty International. 2000-12-05. Retrieved 2007-10-26.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Human Rights Developments". Human Rights Watch. 1999. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  20. ^ "Глава МНБ Туркменистана лишился должности, глава МВД получил специальное звание" (in Russian). RFE/RL. 14 June 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Снят с должности глава МНБ (обновлено)" (in Russian). Chronicles of Turkmenistan. 13 June 2018.